How much does it cost to Train a Racehorse in the United Kingdom

Charlie Appleby, Andrew Balding, John Gosden, William Haggas, and Aidan O’Brien are names that every amateur and professional horseracing enthusiast will know. They run the most powerful horseracing stables in the United Kingdom. Every aspiring racehorse owner will want to have a horse in one of those Training Yards. However, always remember that everything will come at a cost, and having a horse at the Stables of one of these icon trainers will not be any different.

How much does it cost to Train a Racehorse in the United Kingdom – The Cost of the training and upkeep of a racehorse at a mid-to-high-level Trainers Yard will average approximately (according to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA)), £23,000 for a horse that races on the Flat and approximately £17,000 for a horse that races under National Hunt Rules per Annum. This cost will include fees for farriers, vets, physios, dentists, gallop fees, clipping, and wormer supplements.

Owners may save money by joining a syndicate and sharing the expenses and risks (as well as profits) with a larger group. Those that decide on sole ownership, should be prepared to make a substantial financial commitment. However, if the horse is the next Frankel, the upside is limitless.

The Racehorse Trainer

Trainers are in charge of overseeing the actions of the whole yard. They are in charge of not just training the horses, but also of running the business, which entails managing people and funds as well as assuring legal compliance.

Your days are often long and varied arriving at the Training Establishment at the crack of dawn, observing all the horses being ridden by their respective Workriders and deciding what work each horse will do for that day. Owners are allowed to visit the Yard in the morning to watch the Gallops.

Trainers also liaise with the Training Yards Racing Manager to ensure that all horses that have been nominated are racing fit and to discuss whether declarations have been confirmed for all the horses that are racing in the next fortnight. Racedays are spent at the racecourse, watching the Stables horses competing and meeting the horses’ respective owners and other racing colleagues.

Trainer – Industry Experience

Trainers may have previously worked as Assistant Trainers or as professional jockeys for many years. The British Racing School Trainers Courses, as well as a Level 3 Apprenticeship Senior Equine Groom (Racing), are necessary for every trainer to be accredited to eventually manage their Training Yard.

To train, you will also need a British Horseracing Authority Licence. Prerequisites for receiving this Trainer’s Licence are to submit to the BHA a business plan, professional references, and Financial Statements to confirm that the trainer has adequate operating capital to ensure that his Yard can operate as a Going Concern in the future.

Training the Yearlings – The Challenge

Young horses, or yearlings, are developed at their own pace, as each has their individualistic characteristics. These yearlings must be “broken in”  (they must get used to the saddle, the bit in their mouth, and the rider on their back) as well as being taught to canter, gallop, and ultimately race. This is one of the many parts of a trainer’s job, and why they are the experts and are paid by the owners.

Horses are introduced gradually as two-year-olds, initially racing three or four times per year. The young horses are now increasing their fitness levels via training to make them stronger physically and emotionally for their first race akin to a youngster preparing for his or her first football game.

A Day in the Life of a Racehorse Trainer – William Knight shares some Insights

Included in this article is a paraphrased extract of an article published by City AM entitled A Day in the life: Racehorse trainer William Knight on the ups and downs of racing. It provides a wonderful insight into how varied and meticulous Racehorse Trainers have to be to ensure that all the horses in their Yard are well cared for and at their peak on Raceday.

He describes how his Owners come to the gallops not just to watch the races, but also to view their horses. He employs approximately 20 employees that work with the horses. He continues that a typical morning begins at 6.45 a.m. when the first group of around 15 horses is brought out and exercised for an hour before being fed.

That routine continues until lunchtime when the horses are rested until the afternoon. However, if the horses are racing this would in most instances requires them to travel to numerous race meetings. When the horses are not racing, they are brushed, groomed, hayed, fed, and hydrated.

This is also the period (mostly during the evening) that all veterinary issues will be addressed, as well as when the physiotherapist will evaluate some of the horses after which they are put back in their respective stables to rest for the evening. 

On race day, the horses will be fed at dawn, and then stretch their legs for approximately twenty minutes before being secured in the horsebox to travel to the racemeeting for the day. He adds that the stable prefers to have the horses at the racecourse four or five hours before the race to prepare fully for the day.

As glamorous as a Racehorse Trainers’ life seems to the outside world, there are also untold stories that are less glamorous. Every trainer has to also put in the hard yards if they want to ensure that their stable remain successful through the years. 

The Trainers Life – Untold Pleasures and the thrill of the Win

The job provides many benefits, including a good salary, and the ability to be your boss. Winning races and seeing horses and riders you’ve supported from apprentice years attain their full potential provide untold on-the-job pleasure. Of course, you always have the thrill of working with Racehorses every day.

Ultimately, trainers are rated on the number of winners the Trainers Yard produces over the Horseracing Season. There will be challenges and disappointments along the way and difficult conversations with owners when there needs to be. However, when the owners’ trainer produces a horse at peak racing fitness to win a race, whether it be a Class or Group Race, the feeling of elation of the owner is unparalleled.


Hi, I'm James, a long time horse racing fan. I was introduced to racing by my granddad. He taught me a little about horses and I was hooked. I have been to most racecourses in the UK .

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